ACTION Ontario's fourth annual symposium teaches patients how to live
well with chronic pain
TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - ACTION Ontario today held their fourth
annual symposium on chronic pain, marking National Pain Awareness Week
by empowering patients to take control of chronic pain through patient
"It may seem like an oxymoron," said Janice Frampton, chair of Action
PNP, Action's Ontario's patient group. "How do you live well with
chronic pain? Well, today we'll share our coping mechanisms with you
and give you some of the tools for taking charge of your pain."
Patient self-management is a partnership between patients and healthcare
providers, helping patients with chronic pain deal with the symptoms,
treatment, physical and social consequences, and lifestyle changes
inherent in living with a chronic condition.
The goal is to maintain a wellness focus in the foreground, even in the
midst of a chronic condition, to improve quality of life, said the
symposium's keynote speaker Sandra LeFort, professor of Nursing,
Memorial University of Newfoundland, and creator of the Chronic Pain
Self-Management Program. "Chronic pain is not something that's
completely understood yet. There's no easy answer to pain. Chronic pain
is like living with chronic stress, but there are a lot of things you
can do to manage your pain every day."
Patients can temporarily gain power over the condition by being aware of
pain in the present moment rather than allowing the negative
experiences overcome them. Complementary therapies, such as mindfulness
meditation, tai chi, acupuncture and laughter, were just a handful of
topics covered during this year's symposium.
"When you are dealing with chronic pain, you feel like crawling under a
rock," said Ann Tuzi, an ACTION PNP member who started experiencing
chronic pain nine years ago after having shingles and who found relief
through laughter therapy. "Laughter helps give me relief and some
control by taking my mind off of the pain."
Chronic pain affects an estimated 25 per cent of adults over the age of
18 - which is just more than eight million Canadians - and costs an
estimated $50 billion per year in Canada. While a silent epidemic,
chronic pain can be quite debilitating and may include neuropathic
pain, arthritis, back pain, cancer pain and fibromyalgia. Rates of
depression are also more than double in patients with chronic pain.
Currently, Ontario lacks a comprehensive pain strategy, resulting in
several inadequacies in the effective management of chronic pain, such
as diminishing number of academic pain clinics, lengthy wait times for
care, access issues for treatment options, and the need for increased
evidence-based knowledge on treating pain for healthcare professionals.
About ACTION Ontario:
ACTION Ontario is a not-for-profit organization comprised of doctors,
researchers, other healthcare professionals and patients, advocates on
behalf of neuropathic pain sufferers. Action Ontario is committed to
increasing awareness about the cost of neuropathic pain and to seeing
improvements in the diagnosis and care of people with neuropathic pain.
For more information, please visit www.actionontario.ca
SOURCE ACTION Ontario
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